Carrie Figdor presents a critical assessment of how psychological terms are used to describe the non-human biological world. She argues against the anthropocentric attitude which takes human cognition as the standard against which non-human capacities are measured, and offers an alternative basis for naturalistic explanation of the mind.
Carrie Jenkins presents a new account of arithmetical knowledge, which manages to respect three key intuitions: a priorism, mind-independence realism, and empiricism. Jenkins argues that arithmetic can be known through the examination of empirically grounded concepts, non-accidentally accurate representations of the mind-independent world.
Many empirically minded philosophers have used neuroscientific data to argue against the multiple realization of cognitive functions in existing biological organisms. I argue that neuroscientists themselves have proposed a biologically based concept of multiple realization as an alternative to interpreting empirical findings in terms of one‐to‐one structure‐function mappings. I introduce this concept and its associated research framework and also how some of the main neuroscience‐based arguments against multiple realization go wrong. *Received October 2009; revised December 2009. †To contact the author, (...) please write to: Department of Philosophy, 260 English‐Philosophy Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242; e‐mail: carrie‐[email protected]. (shrink)
The article explores the irreflexivity of metaphysical dependence in the physical structure of reality. It stresses that the word dependence denotes quasi-ireflexivity which affects the metaphysical relations of a physical structure. It focuses on the view that irreflexivity assumption has been made without discussion of the dependence relations on the structure of reality.
Humanists argue for assigning the highest moral status to all humans over any non-humans directly or indirectly on the basis of uniquely superior human cognitive abilities. They may also claim that humanism is the strongest position from which to combat racism, sexism, and other forms of within-species discrimination. I argue that changing conceptual foundations in comparative research and discoveries of advanced cognition in many non-human species reveal humanism’s psychological speciesism and its similarity with common justifications of within-species discrimination.
Is the Germanic god Wotan really an archaic archetype of the Spirit? Was the Third Reich at first a collective individuation process? After Friedrich Nietzsche heralded the "death of God," might the divine have been reborn as a collective form of self-redemption on German soil and in the Germanic soul? In _Jung’s Wandering Archetype_ Carrie Dohe presents a study of Jung’s writings on Germanic psychology from 1912 onwards, exploring the links between his views on religion and race and providing (...) his perspective on the answers to these questions. Dohe demonstrates how Jung’s view of Wotan as an archetype of the collective Germanic psyche was created from a combination of an ancient discourse on the Germanic barbarian and modern theories of primitive religion, and how he further employed _völkisch_ ideology and various colonialist discourses to contrast hypothesized Germanic, Jewish and ‘primitive’ psychologies. He saw Germanic psychology as dangerous yet vital, promising rebirth and rejuvenation, and compared Wotan to the Pentecostal Spirit, suggesting that the Germanic psyche contained the necessary tension to birth a new collective psycho-spiritual attitude. In racializing his religiously-inflected psychological theory, Jung combined religious and scientific discourses in a particularly seductive way, masterfully weaving together the objective language of science with the eternal language of myth. Dohe concludes the book by examining the use of these ideas in modern Germanic religion, in which members claim that religion is a matter of race. This in-depth study of Jung’s views on psychology, race and spirituality will be fascinating reading for all academics and students of Jungian and post-Jungian studies, religious studies and the history of religion. (shrink)
What is the content of a mental state? This question poses the problem of intentionality: to explain how mental states can be about other things, where being about them is understood as representing them. A framework that integrates predictive coding and signaling systems theories of cognitive processing offers a new perspective on intentionality. On this view, at least some mental states are evaluations, which differ in function, operation, and normativity from representations. A complete naturalistic theory of intentionality must account for (...) both types of intentional state. (shrink)
This book unpicks the conceptual, ideological, and metaphysical tangles that get in the way of understanding romantic love. -/- Written for a general audience, What Love Is And What It Could Be explores different disciplinary perspectives on love, in search of the bigger picture. It presents a "dual-nature" theory: romantic love is simultaneously both a biological phenomenon and a social construct. The key philosophical insight comes in explaining why this a coherent—and indeed a necessary—position to take. -/- The deep motivation (...) behind this work is that we have a collective responsibility to figure out romantic love. It is a formidable and potentially dangerous force, its power underwritten by its twin footholds in our biological natures and in our most treasured social practices. Often we pretend that it is incomprehensible and out of control, but this is a way of abdicating our responsibility to understand love and fix it when it's broken. -/- What Love Is And What It Could Be explains that romantic love is currently broken in multiple interlocking ways, but also that we can change this status quo. Once we understand what love is, we will be able to take control of what it could be. (shrink)
Philosophical tradition has long held that free will is necessary for moral responsibility. We report experimental results that show that the folk do not think free will is necessary for moral responsibility. Our results also suggest that experimental investigation of the relationship is ill served by a focus on incompatibilism versus compatibilism. We propose an alternative framework for empirical moral psychology in which judgments of free will and moral responsibility can vary independently in response to many factors. We also suggest (...) that, in response to some factors, the necessity relation may run from responsibility to free will. (shrink)
The journal articles in the extant philosophical literature which argue in favor of carrying handguns for self-defense tend to assume that these weapons will be concealed and make no mention of carrying them openly. This paper aims to show that, since open-carry can be more effective for self-defense than concealed-carry, any argument for a moral right to carry a handgun for self-defense which relies on a claim of their effectiveness and which assumes concealed-carry, entails the moral right to carry them (...) openly in public. (shrink)
One question of the bounds of cognition is that of which things have it. A scientifically relevant debate on this question must explain the persistent and selective use of psychological predicates to report findings throughout biology: for example, that neurons prefer, fruit flies and plants decide, and bacteria communicate linguistically. This paper argues that these claims should enjoy default literal interpretation. An epistemic consequence is that these findings can contribute directly to understanding the nature of psychological capacities.
Choreographies of the Living explores the shift from viewing art as an exclusively human undertaking to recognizing it as an activity that all living creatures enact. Carrie Rohman's bioaesthetic framework describes how art-making binds us to other animals in literature, visual art, dance, and performance.
I commend Mikhalevich & Powell for extending the discussion of cognition and its relation to moral status with their well researched and argued target article on invertebrate cognition. I have two small criticisms: that the scala naturae still retains its appeal to some in biology as well as psychology, and that drawing the line at invertebrates requires a bit more defense given the larger comparative cognitive-scientific context.
I separate two intrinsic/extrinsic distinctions that are often conflated: one between properties (the intrinsic/extrinsic, or I/E, distinction) and one between the ways in which properties are had by individuals (the intrinsically/extrinsically, or I-ly/E-ly, distinction). I propose an analysis of the I-ly/E-ly distinction and its relation to the I/E distinction that explains, inter alia, the puzzle of cross-classification: how it can be, for example, that the property of being square can be classified as an intrinsic property and yet individuals can be (...) square intrinsically or else extrinsically. (shrink)
When a society is characterized by a climate of distrust, how does this impact the professional practices of news journalism? I focus on the practice of balance, or fair presentation of both sides in a story. I articulate a two-step model of how trust modulates the acceptance of tes-timony and draw out its implications for justifying the practice of balance.
Work on the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction is often motivated by its use in other areas, such as intrinsic value, real vs. Cambridge change, supervenience and other topics. With the exception of Figdor 2008, philosophers have sought to articulate a global distinction -- a distinction between kinds of properties, rather than ways in which individuals have properties. I argue that global I/E distinctions are unable to do the work that allegedly motivates them, focusing on the case of intrinsic value.
It is widely taken for granted that fictions, including both literature and film,influence our attitudes toward real people, events, and situations. Philosopherswho defend claims about the cognitive value of fiction view this influence in apositive light, while others worry about the potential moral danger of fiction.Marketers hope that visual and aural references to their products in movies willhave an effect on people’s buying patterns. Psychologists study the persuasiveimpact of media. Educational books and films are created in the hopes of guidingchildren’s (...) and adult’s preferences toward socially acceptable norms.The influencesdiscussed by marketers, psychologists, educators, and philosophers tend to be bothcognitive and affective. It seems that we can be “emotionally persuaded”: ourpreferences can be changed, our feelings about particular people or events can beinfluenced, and so forth. (shrink)
In recent work, Stephen John (2018, 2019) has deepened the social epistemological perspective on expert testimony by arguing that science communication often operates at the institutional level, and that at that level sincerity, transparency, and honesty are not necessarily epistemic virtues. In this paper I consider his arguments in the context of science journalism, a key constituent of the science communication ecosystem. I argue that this context reveals both the weakness of his arguments and a need for further analysis of (...) how non-experts learn from experts. (shrink)
It is widely acknowledged that the modern university can be traced back to the inauguration of the University of Berlin in 1810. In the subsequent two centuries, the idea of the university has taken on many forms, largely driven by the political concerns of the day and often in response to demands from the electorate for greater state regulation and accountability for public spending. Until recently, the responsibility for academic and social legitimation had shifted between the church, the state and (...) the university itself. However, in opening up the higher education sector to the influence of the market economy, the state has surrendered much of its political influence over the academic governance of the university to the power of the consumer, which is to say, to students. In this essay, I trace the history of the modern university and examine the significance and implications for nurse education of the turn towards the market. Drawing on the work of Derrida, Lyotard and Readings, I suggest that the return to liberal education is no longer possible, and argue instead for a philosophical strategy of subversion. (shrink)
I review a widely accepted argument to the conclusion that the contents of our beliefs, desires and other mental states cannot be causally efficacious in a classical computational model of the mind. I reply that this argument rests essentially on an assumption about the nature of neural structure that we have no good scientific reason to accept. I conclude that computationalism is compatible with wide semantic causal efficacy, and suggest how the computational model might be modified to accommodate this possibility.
Nowadays, novel techniques such as Reciprocal effortless in vitro fertilization (ReIVF) enable two individuals to “carry the same pregnancy,” that is to “carry” the same embryo in both their bodies. However, even though these techniques are likely to be increasingly requested, little is known about their safety and efficacy, and much less about their bioethical legitimacy and issues. Considering their uniqueness, this study assesses the compatibility of ReIVF as well as of another similar technique with the classical principles of medical (...) ethics: autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. The aim is twofold: (i) to start investigating whether these techniques and their underlying reasons are, or could ever be, bioethically justifiable and (ii) to make clinicians and any other potentially interested persons such as researchers, lawmakers and prospective parents themselves are more aware of the health and social implications of using these techniques. Hence, after a brief overview of the technical aspects of the procedures that allow two persons to carry the same pregnancy, this study offers a general moral framework that can be useful for starting to address some relevant aspects of these procedures, such as their benefits and harms on the health of the individuals involved, the reasons behind their use, and the possibility that they might be covered by states in the future. Finally, this study provides a bioethical overview on ReIVF as well as on similar techniques considering different perspectives, while also suggesting some questions and recommendations for further research. (shrink)
This chapter describes the conceptual foundations of cognitive science during its establishment as a science in the 20th century. It is organized around the core ideas of individual agency as its basic explanans and information-processing as its basic explanandum. The latter consists of a package of ideas that provide a mathematico-engineering framework for the philosophical theory of materialism.
In recent works, Stephen John (2018, Social Epistemology32(2), 75–87; 2019, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A78, 64–72) has deepened the social epistemological perspective on expert testimony by arguing that science communication often operates at the institutional level, and that at that level sincerity, transparency, and honesty are not necessarily epistemic virtues. In this paper I consider his arguments in the context of science journalism, a key constituent of the science communication ecosystem. I argue that this context reveals (...) both the weakness of his arguments and a need for further analysis of how non-experts learn from experts. (shrink)
We are consumers of drugs and news, and sometimes call ourselves addicts or junkies of one or both. I propose to take the concept of news – more generally, doxastic – addiction seriously. I define doxastic addiction and relate this type of addiction to echo chambers and religious belief. I show how this analysis directs attention to appropriate interventions to help doxastic addicts, and how it offers a new type of justification for limits on free speech. -/- .
This paper argues that the cognitive neuroscientific use of ordinary mental terms to report research results and draw implications can contribute to public confusion and misunderstanding regarding neuroscience results. This concern is raised at a time when cognitive neuroscientists are increasingly required by funding agencies to link their research to specific results of public benefit, and when neuroethicists have called for greater attention to public communication of neuroscience. The paper identifies an ethical dimension to the problem and presses for greater (...) sensitivity and responsibility among neuroscientists regarding their use of such terms. (shrink)
I argue that an explicit distinction between cognitive characters and cognitive phenotypes is needed for empirical progress in the cognitive sciences and their integration with evolution-guided sciences. I elaborate what ontological commitment to characters involves and how such a commitment would clarify ongoing debates about the relations between human and nonhuman cognition and the extent of cognitive abilities across biological species. I use theoretical proposals in episodic memory, language, and sociocultural bases of cognition to illustrate how cognitive characters are being (...) introduced in scientific practice. (shrink)
The performance appraisal process is increasingly seen as a key link between employee behaviour and an organization’s strategic objectives. Unfortunately, performance reviews often fail to change how people work, and dissatisfaction with the appraisal process has been associated with general job dissatisfaction, lower organizational commitment, and increased intentions to quit. Recent research has identified a number of factors related to reactions to performance appraisals in general and appraisal satisfaction in particular. Beyond the appraisal outcome itself, researchers have found that appraisal (...) reactions are affected by perceptions of fairness and the relationship between the supervisor and the employee. To explain the relationships among these factors, the present article proposes a moral cognition perspective. We suggest that employees judge a performance appraisal from the perspective of its moral justifiability, and that appraisal reactions will be determined, at least in part, by the perceived moral justifiability of the process. The proposal was supported by results from a survey of government employees using measures of performance ratings, leader–member exchange, perceived utility, and organizational justice. (shrink)
Animal models have long been used to investigate human mental disorders, including depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. This practice is usually justified in terms of the benefits (to humans) outweighing the costs (to the animals). I argue on utility maximization grounds that we should phase out animal models in neuropsychiatric research. Our leading theories of how human minds and behavior evolved invoke sociocultural factors whose relation to nonhuman minds, societies, and behavior has not been homologized. Thus it is not at all (...) clear that we are gaining the epistemic or clinical benefits we want from this animal-based research. (shrink)
In his extensive private manuscripts, Jeremy Bentham used same-sex male intimacy as a philosophical test-case for the full political and social enfranchisement of women, colonized and enslaved persons, and sexual nonconformists. Bentham argued that oppression in law, philosophy, religion, and literature were all based on aesthetic hierarchies that refused to acknowledge differences of taste in sensory pleasure, including sexual pleasure. In Uncommon Sense, Carrie Shanafelt reads Bentham's sexual nonconformity papers as an argument for the toleration of aesthetic difference as (...) the foundation for egalitarian liberty. Shanafelt challenges the common image of Bentham as a dehumanizing calculator or an eccentric projector, instead showing Bentham at his most intimate, outraged by injustice and desperate for the end of discriminatory violence. (shrink)
This article clarifies three principles that should guide the development of any cognitive ontology. First, that an adequate cognitive ontology depends essentially on an adequate task ontology; second, that the goal of developing a cognitive ontology is independent of the goal of finding neural implementations of the processes referred to in the ontology; and third, that cognitive ontologies are neutral regarding the metaphysical relationship between cognitive and neural processes.
Many media critics believe news reports are inevitably biased and have urged journalists to abandon the objectivity norm. I show that the main arguments for inevitable bias fail but identify factors that make producing objective news difficult. I indicate what the next steps should be to understand bias in the news and to combat it.
This article unpacks the notion of ‘carrying’ as an embodied set of influences that bear upon our research practices and journeys. It is widely recognised that we acquire and carry a body of books as intellectual companionship. It is not however readily acknowledged how we as researchers carry sounds, aesthetics, traumas and obsessions, which stay with us and take time to appear before us, as methodological projects within our grasp. Researchers are carriers embarked on exchanges in a double sense. Firstly, (...) we are embodied and affected by our life trajectories. There is a temporality to our research which is entwined with the very knots of our lives. Secondly, we are carriers through the specific ways in which we activate our research materials and relationships. In this article, the two elements of carrying are underlined as being intimately related. (shrink)
In "Cognition Beyond the Human Domain", Angel Garcia Rodriguez provides critical commentary on Pieces of Mind: The proper domain of psychological predicates (Oxford UP, 2018). In this reply, I argue that his alternative "No-Core" semantic proposal is not an alternative to the Literalist view I defend, but rather one way of elaborating that position.
This Editorial summarizes the papers in a Frontiers in Communication Research Topic that looks at science journalism’s mediating role between the production of scientific knowledge and its public uptake. The four papers in the Research Topic consider science communication and journalism from the perspective of philosophy of science and epistemology. Framing the Research Topic is a conceptual analysis of the multiple aims of science communication and an assessment of empirical evidence to date regarding whether these aims are being met. The (...) other papers consider the practices of science journalism, the public reception of science information, and how the process of science is presented in three major mass media outlets. (shrink)
Next SectionPublic and healthcare professionals differ in their attitudes towards euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide (PAS), the legal status of which is currently in the spotlight in the UK. In addition to medical training and experience, religiosity, locus of control and patient characteristics (eg, patient age, pain levels, number of euthanasia requests) are known influencing factors. Previous research tends toward basic designs reporting on attitudes in the context of just one or two potentially influencing factors; we aimed to test the comparative (...) importance of a larger range of variables in a sample of nursing trainees and non-nursing controls. One hundred and fifty-one undergraduate students (early-stage nursing training, late-stage nursing training and non-nursing controls) were approached on a UK university campus and asked to complete a self-report questionnaire. Participants were of mixed gender and were on average 25.5 years old. No significant differences in attitude were found between nursing and non-nursing students. There was a significant positive correlation between higher religiosity and positive attitude toward euthanasia (r=0.19, p<0.05) and a significant negative relationship between internal locus of control and positive attitude toward PAS (r=−0.263, p<0.01). Multivariate analyses revealed differing predictor models for attitudes towards euthanasia and PAS, and confirm the importance of individual differences in determining these attitudes. The unexpected direction of association between religiosity and attitudes may reflect a broader cultural shift in attitudes since earlier research in this area. Furthermore, these findings suggest it possible that experience, more than training itself, may be a bigger influence on attitudinal differences in healthcare professionals. (shrink)
I introduce and defend verbialism, a metaphysical framework appropriate for accommodating the mind within the natural sciences and the mechanistic model of explanation that ties the natural sciences together. Verbialism is the view that mental phenomena belong in the basic ontological category of activities. If mind is what brain does, then explaining the mind is explaining how it occurs, and the ontology of mind is verbialist -- at least, it ought to be. I motivate verbialism by revealing a kind of (...) inattentional blindness philosophers of mind have shown when it comes to conceiving of their explanandum as a kind of complex activity. I also show how the project of naturalizing the mind is altered when we correct for this inattention. (shrink)
We believe that “caching” a baby would have been too great a danger in human prehistory, and thus could not serve as the context for prelinguistic vocalization. Rather, infants were most likely carried at all times. Thus, the question arises of why the cry of an infant is such a loud vocalization.
Taking seriously Guillaume Apollinaire's wager that twentieth-century poets would one day "mechanize" poetry as modern industry has mechanized the world, Carrie Noland explores poetic attempts to redefine the relationship between subjective expression and mechanical reproduction, high art and the world of things. Noland builds upon close readings to construct a tradition of diverse lyricists--from Arthur Rimbaud, Blaise Cendrars, and René Char to contemporary performance artists Laurie Anderson and Patti Smith--allied in their concern with the nature of subjectivity in an (...) age of mechanical reproduction. (shrink)
The United States prison system, the largest in the world, operates through both exploitative and rehabilitative modes of discipline. To gain political and public support for the extensive resources expended housing, feeding, and controlling its incarcerated population, the carceral state strategically emphasizes a mix of each mode. Agriculture in prisons is particularly illustrative. With roots in racial capitalism and the carceral state’s criminalization of poverty, plantation convict leasing system, work reform efforts, and punitive and welfarist carceral logics, prison agriculture embodies (...) explicit forms of exploitation and claims of rehabilitation. Accordingly, this article contextualizes and explains results from a nationwide study of state prisons within our framework of the disciplinary matrix. At least 662 adult state prisons have agricultural activities, including an array of animal, food, and plant production. We find that the drivers of these activities are financial, idleness reduction, reparative, and training. Our disciplinary matrix framework departs from conventional assignments of a particular activity to one disciplinary mode or the other and recognizes that any activity may be driven by different prison needs or philosophies. We investigate how different combinations of agricultural activities and drivers rely on discourses of deservingness to naturalize and reproduce structures of racialized, classed, and gendered control inside and outside prison, as well as the legitimacy of the prison system itself. (shrink)
This chapter discusses the nature of objective news and the debate regarding its possibility. It then assesses the main arguments for the unattainability of objective news. A close examination of these arguments shows that, contrary to widespread belief, journalists who try to provide objective news are not striving in vain. The chapter discusses the effect of competing journalistic aims and other limitations on our efforts to generate objective news. It suggests that the unwarranted skepticism regarding the possibility of objective news (...) is an artifact of the changing priorities of journalists and inadequate journalistic methods, and that the only real issue is how we can better train those journalists who want to generate objective news. (shrink)
In this essay I raise a dilemma for science journalists based on recent skepticism raised by scientists about the credibility of published results in many fields. Due to systematic biases in the publication record, most published findings in these fields (including psychology and biological subfields) are almost certainly false. So should science reporters stop reporting these findings, given their mission to report verified truths? Or should they report the findings while saying they are almost certainly false?
Since the publication of The Sexual Politics of Meat in 1990, activist and writer Carol J. Adams (2000 ) has put forth a feminist defence of veganism based on the argument that meat consumption and violence against animals are structurally related to violence against women, and especially to pornography and prostitution. Adams’ work has been influential in the growing fields of animal studies and posthumanism, where her research is frequently cited as the prime example of vegan feminism. However, her particular (...) radical feminist framework, including her anti-pornography and anti-prostitution arguments, are rarely acknowledged or critiqued. This article challenges the premises of Adams’ argument, demonstrating that her version of vegan feminism is based upon an unsubstantiated comparison between violence against women and violence against other-than-human animals, and on the silencing and exclusion of sex workers as subjects. The article contests the limited reading of Adams, and of feminism, offered in some key works in animal studies and posthumanism, at the same time that it recognises the need to challenge the anthropocentrism evident in much feminist theory. By way of alternative approaches to the sexual politics of veganism, the article highlights the interventions of artist and activist Mirha-Soleil Ross, proposing that her situated and embodied commitment to animal rights brings sex worker agency into the story, while resisting simple comparisons among different forms of violence. The concerns raised by Ross overlap in compelling ways with recent research in performance studies and labour history, bringing the question of work and workers, animal and human, to the fore. These studies point towards a potentially more useful framework than that of Adams for understanding the human violence suffered by different species, including those destined to be eaten by people. (shrink)
Love is most often associated with happiness, satisfaction and pleasure. But it has a darker side we ignore at our peril. Love is often an uncomfortable and difficult feeling. The people we love can let us down badly. And the ways we love are often quite different to the romantic ideals society foists upon us. Since we are inevitably disappointed by love, wouldn't we be better off without it? No, says Carrie Jenkins. Instead, we need a new philosophy of (...) love, one that recognizes that the pain and suffering love causes are a natural, even a good part of what makes love worthwhile. What Jenkins calls "sad love" offers no bogus "happy ever afters." Rather, it tries to find a way properly to integrate heartbreak and disappointment into the lived experience of love"--Page 4 of cover. (shrink)
Plato's Symposium depicts a group of men giving a series of speeches about the nature of love, with themes ranging from religion and metaphysics to medicine and pregnancy. The lone woman in the room, a "flute girl," is sent away as the discussion turns to serious matters; at the same time, the wisest of the men attributes his theories to a woman, the possibly fictional Diotima. Despite their absence from this important intellectual exchange, women are part of Symposium. What can (...) contemporary feminist readers do with this troubling yet immeasurably influential work? In Uninvited historian Carla Nappi and philosopher Carrie Jenkins talk back to Plato in poetry, inspired by the voices of women characters who were not previously permitted to speak. Images and ideas from Symposium are refracted through multiple lenses to reveal a tumult of mystical, intellectual, pedagogical, and sexual ideologies. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes horrific, these poems dance within and between the lines of Symposium, carving space for new kinds of conversations about love, with themes ranging from gender and voice to power and violence. Designed to be read with or without prior knowledge of Plato, this book invites the uninvited to join a strange, amorphous, and unending conversation on the nature of love and desire - and on the possibilities intellectual and creative activity can offer. (shrink)